Besides Mrs. Stewart (James Stewart's wife) and Jennet Clouston, the maid is pretty much the only woman who appears for any length of time in the novel. In fact, she has more lines than any other female character. Stevenson is serious about his bromance between Davie and Alan, and he doesn't seem to want to muck that up with too many lady folk. The genres of romance and adventure do indeed often seem to be mutually exclusive. For more on what happens when you try to mix the two, see our account of the sequel to Kidnapped in "In a Nutshell." Alan plays on the maid's pity to convince her to row them across the Forth river, which marks the dividing line between the Highlands and the Lowlands, in Chapter 26.